A Reason to Believe:
Lessons From an Improbable Life
Governor Deval Patrick
Governor Deval Patrick is donating a portion of the proceeds from A REASON TO BELIEVE to A Better Chance, a national organization dedicated to opening the doors to greater educational opportunities for young people of color.
“I’ve simply seen too much goodness in this country—and have come so far in my own journey—not to believe in those ideals, and my faith in the future is sometimes restored under the darkest clouds.”
— Governor Deval Patrick
In January 2007, Deval Patrick became the first African American governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, one of only two African American governors elected in American history. That was just one triumphant step in a long, improbable journey that began in a poor tenement on the South Side of Chicago. From a chaotic childhood to an elite boarding school in New England, to a sojourn doing relief work in Africa to the boardrooms of Fortune 500 companies, and now to a career in politics, Patrick has led an extraordinary life.
In this heartfelt, inspirational book, he pays tribute to the family, friends, and strangers who, through words and deeds, have instilled in him lessons of faith, perseverance, and friendship. In doing so, he reminds us of the power of community and idealism. With humility, humor, and grace, he offers a road map for attaining happiness, empowerment, and success. At the same time, he appeals to readers to feel a greater stake in this world and shape a life worth living.
Warm, nostalgic, and inspirational, A REASON TO BELIEVE is destined to become a timeless tribute to a uniquely American odyssey and a testament to what is possible in our lives and our communities if we are hopeful, generous, and resilient.
Governor Deval Patrick was born in Chicago in 1956. After junior high school, he received a scholarship to attend Milton Academy in Massachusetts, and from there he graduated from Harvard College and Harvard Law School. He has worked as an attorney for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and was later appointed, by President Clinton, as the assistant attorney general for civil rights. Governor Patrick has also been general counsel at Texaco and Coca-Cola. In 2010, he began his second term as governor of Massachusetts.
The official book trailer for A REASON TO BELIEVE. Click on above image to watch.
Exclusive interview: Governor Deval Patrick on A Better Chance. Click on above image to watch.
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Praise for A Reason to Believe
“Patrick gives powerful voice to the reflective inner man who has a keen eye for things that really matter…A welcome celebration of idealism in a cynical time.”
– Kirkus Reviews
“This remarkable, uplifting memoir is powerful evidence that the American dream still exists. Patrick tells his extraordinary life story with eloquence, grace, and humor, moving skillfully from start to finish between a child’s tender voice and an adult’s perspective.”
— Doris Kearns Goodwin, Pulitzer Prize–winning historian and author of Team of Rivals
“This fascinating story represents a testament against the self-fulfilling cynicism that increasingly infects the American view of American politics—a testament against stupidity, a testament for honorable public service.”
— Tracy Kidder, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Strength in What Remains and Mountains Beyond Mountains
“As the first black governor of Massachusetts, and as only the second African American to be elected governor in the United States, Deval Patrick is a history-making, path breaking figure in our state and national life. With a tremendous record of accomplishment personally, professionally, and politically, he has reason to be immodest! But what we hear instead in this moving account of this good man’s life is a voice of reason and moderation. In these turbulent times, Patrick provides us with a model of public service and a public spirit. He is an inspiration to all of us, on both sides of the aisle.”
— Henry Louis Gates Jr., Alphonse Fletcher University Professor, Harvard University
“There is no more inspiring story—or more compelling storyteller—in American politics today than Deval Patrick. And in this moving memoir, he shares the lesson of a life well lived: Hope for the best, and work for it.”
— David Axelrod
“I met Deval Patrick in the Spring of 1980 at Harvard Law School. I realized quickly that he was a remarkable person—confident, compassionate, and a wonderful listener. He combined a youthful energy with a sense of wisdom and balance that belied his youth. A Reason to Believe describes the unique set of experiences—both difficult and uplifting—that have forged this important and historic public servant. Governor Patrick’s book offers hope to anyone that adversity can be overcome and pain turned into perspective. It also provides a clear-eyed defense of idealism that is rooted in a basic value—everyone has something important to offer the world and the responsibility to do so.”
— Tim Kaine, chairman of the Democratic National Committee